Has the time come to start looking for a new home? If so, you may find yourself in a competitive marketplace. Demand for homes in some areas is higher than the inventory. You may be tempted to jump into the first home you see that appears ‘perfect.’ But before diving in, make sure you really do a thorough look through the home and get it inspected by a certified home inspector.

Overlooking a red flag could cost you in the long run. Here are some red flags to look for:

Water Stains
A water stain is a sign of leakage from a pipe or a roof that needs repair. Both of these items can be costly to fix depending on the extent of the damage.

DIY Repairs
If the previous homeowner preferred to do the work themselves, especially when it comes to plumbing or electrical, make sure you get it properly inspected. While the homeowner could excel in this type of thing, you never know when it’s not a licensed contractor.

Electrical Safety Issues
Is the electrical system up to code and not outdated? If you are looking at an older home, make sure the electrical can support your home’s needs. The amount of electricity we use today is very different than what was used in 1955 and the electrical system should reflect that.

Age of the Roof
One of the most expensive home repairs is a roof replacement. Check the age and condition of the roof before buying. While this isn’t a deal breaker, it is an expense you want to be prepared for before investing in the home.

The Smell
Be aware of smells during your home tour. If you smell something ‘off’ or notice a high presence of air fresheners, this is a red flag to be aware of. It could be an issue with plumbing, HVAC, mold or something else.

Flood Zones
While this is also not a deal breaker, a home in a flood zone is more costly to insure as it is more likely to be damaged during a rainstorm, hurricane or extreme weather event.

Noises
Take a good listen during your home tour. Does the home itself make any strange sounds? Could be a sign of a faulty heating system, rodents or something else. What about the area? Can you hear a highway or construction or is the neighborhood overly loud? If you are looking for a quiet place to hang your hat, noise level is something to consider.

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